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The World Shakuhachi Festival 2018 brings together many of the world’s best performers of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, from all continents. It presents, at highest level, a broad cross-section of traditional and contemporary solo and ensemble music for shakuhachi. As an instrument, the shakuhachi is known by many people, but without being named or recognised. It has put in appearances in many film soundtracks, including the final Harry Potter films, and is on the other hand enjoyed by many because of its deeply meditative quality. The instrument is, however capable of a broad range of music, from quiet to energetic and stimulating, alone, and grouped with other instruments, from Japan and elsewhere. The broad spectrum of its music will appeal to music lovers from all walks of life and with all tastes, from traditional to modern, from meditative to ‘world music’.
The WSF2018 will offer an unique opportunity to experience the world of shakuhachi close up and in a variety not seen before in the UK or Europe. Our schedule is bursting with a wide range of concerts, workshops, lectures, talks, exhibitions, screenings and informal gatherings, bringing together around 40 top-level shakuhachi performers from Japan and another 40 from other countries to play and teach. Whether you are a seasoned shakuhachi professional, an enthusiastic hobbyist or simply interested in discovering new cultural and musical territory, WSF2018 is the place to be.
The Art of Gaman is a stunning new play. It was a finalist in the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.
Tomomi, a young Japanese woman stands at the hull of a ship staring out across the water to her new American life in the years prior to the Hiroshima bombing. There are stars in her eyes and a crackling radio pulled to her chest as she drifts towards a country, and a future, that resists her arrival.
The Art of Gaman is an aching exploration of displacement and loss of cultural identity when you find yourself in a country that considers you an enemy. When forgetting your past is shameful, but remembering brings even greater pain, Tomomi must harness the strength to find beauty in the struggle and carve out a new life for herself and be true to who she really is.
The Art of Gaman was one of 6 plays shortlisted for the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.
How weak is macroeconomic theory? Japan has terrible macroeconomic numbers (by leading nation standards) yet a high quality of life. This contradiction drags macroeconomics, monetary policy, taxation, and politics under a spotlight. In this talk, Professor Michael Mainelli intends to draw on the work of his Long Finance movement, along with the work of Professor Richard Werner, and use the more interesting contradictions of Japan to show how much more we need to learn about fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, trade, and tax in order to provide alternative visions of economic and fiscal (six letter word for tax) policies.
Professor Michael Mainelli FCCA FCSI(Hon) FBCS, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group
A qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, Michael gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor. He began his career as a research scientist, later becoming an accountancy-firm partner and a director of Ministry of Defence research. During a spell in merchant banking in 1994, he co-founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank. He has led Z/Yen from creating smart ledgers (aka blockchains) through the Financial £aboratory, Taskforce 2000, Long Finance & the London Accord, Global Financial Centres Index, Global Green Finance Index, and Global Intellectual Property Index. He is an Alderman of the City of London, a non-executive director of two listed firms and a regulator, Emeritus Professor at Gresham College, Fellow of Goodenough College, and Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders. His third book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize.
Please let us know if you would like to take an optional tour of the Freemasons’ Hall at 5.15 for 5.30pm.
Host: Pauline Chakmakjian, Visit Kyoto Ambassador.
To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996, email email@example.com or submit the online booking form.
In association with The Japan Room
Lodge Room No 11
The Freemasons’ Hall
Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AZ
Japan Society members: £9
World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.
Grimeborn Opera Festival
8pm 23rd August
3pm 24th August
8pm 24th August
Origami and music. A multi-media opera installation. Verity Lane‘s two-part project draws on her 10 years’ experience of living in Japan, exploring classical Japanese traditions with a uniquely avant-garde twist.
A brand-new performance project with music, stories and concept by Verity Lane, Origami Soundscapes: Flower, Bird, Wind & Moon explores ancient symbolism and Japanese birdsong, featuring a large-scale origami performance by Coco Sato, percussion, shakuhachi and storytelling.
The Crane reimagines a Japanese folk story about a magical crane that takes human form, set around Hokkaido’s Otowa Bridge. This mystical opera installation explores traditional Japanese aesthetics through a blend of Noh theatre conventions, traditional and contemporary dance, avant-garde music and animation.
Sung in English and Japanese without surtitles.
Music and Libretto (English and Japanese) by Verity Lane
Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
Born in Tottenham and spending nearly a decade in Japan, visual artist, composer and writer Verity Lane specialises in creating highly visual performance installations for traditional Japanese instruments. and beyond.
Her recent multi-media projects include A Thousand Bamboo in a Dancing Wind (performance installation for 300 shakuhachi, 2 dancers, projection and performance poetry, commissioned by The World Shakuhachi Festival, held at Goldsmiths, 2018), Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime (supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), and Japanese Sandscapes: The Tale of Mt Fuji where she worked with artists including Ko Ishikawa (sho/Reigakusha), Etsuko Takezawa (koto/shamisen) and Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance/kotsuzumi). Both projects saw Lane launch herself within London’s avant garde music scene, selling out venues across London.
Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.
Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
Tomoko Komura is a London based performer from Japan, trained at the London International School of Performing Arts with an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-Created Theatre (2006). She has performed and toured in shows by award-winning theatre companies such as Theatre Ad Infinitum (Ballad of the Burning Star), Theatre Témoin (Jukai) and Out of Chaos (Out of Chaos).
Kiku Day is a shakuhachi player based in Denmark.
Hester Dart is a London based contralto and graduate from the University of Leeds. They study with Prof. Neil Baker and are currently finishing their second year at the Morley College Opera School. Hester is particularly interested in promoting the work of
LGBTQ+ composers and musicians. They would like to contribute towards a more inclusive and accessible environment within classical music and opera.
Rowan O’Brien is a renowned animator and 3D artist from the West Coast of Ireland. He mixes sketches, objects, computer animation, and video in his work. He has screened and exhibited work across Europe, South Korea and Japan, where he lived and studied Japanese fabric craft known as oshie.
AN EXCLUSIVE ONE-OFF CONTEMPORARY AND EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC AND DANCE PERFORMANCE FROM TRADITIONAL OKINAWA
MYM (Mutsumi, Yu and MINA) presents “Okinawan Avant-Garde Night”, an exclusive one-off music and dance performance with visuals and elements of storytelling at the crossroads of traditional Okinawan (Southern Japanese), contemporary and experimental music.
Punctuating their performance with the sound of the iconic Okinawan 3 string lute “sanshin”, Okinawan musician Mutsumi Aragaki (vocals, sanshin, electronics, audiovisual) and Japanese/Swiss musician MINA (vocals, sanshin, violin) each offer an avant-garde approach on ancient sounds and tales from the Southern Japanese island.
By blending songs, stories, images and movements together with Japanese performing artist Yu Tamura, this new collaboration invites the audience to discover the unique and rich culture of Okinawa with a highly artistic perspective.
Event details and tickets: https://richmix.org.uk/events/mym-presents-okinawan-avant-garde-night
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/364576844222056/
“Four striking works align, taking the audience on an exploration of reflection, purification, self and identity. Together we navigate an energetic path that illuminates the significance of our connection as human beings through unspoken word.”
The Japan Foundation is delighted to partner with Fabula Collective on a contemporary dance production presented at Sadler’s Wells this October. A mixed bill performance choreographed by James Pett, Travis Clausen-Knight, and Japanese contemporary dance artist Kahiko Narisawa, the project emphasises the collaboration between Japanese and British dancers, bridging the cultures of the two countries and facilitating a meeting of minds to exchange skills, knowledge, technique and creative ideas.
The performance will be followed by a conversation between the dance artists and Sanjoy Roy, dance writer and critic for the Guardian.
Date: 8 October 2019, from 7:15pm
Venue: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio
Roseberry Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Nearest tube: Angel Station
“This project is named Yū (幽) / phantom.
Yū is Japanese special sensitivity, it’s means like “faintly”, “fleeting”, “airy”, “vaguely”. It’s be understood by Japanese people as also “ghost”, “apparition”, “phantom”.
This performance depicts two Japanese goddesses, one phantom, and one modern woman, by dance of Misuzu and the music of Shin’ichi Isohata and Naoyo Yakushi.
Many of the origins of religion in all world were goddess faith. God or monster has the back and front faces that are intrinsic as same as humans (although I think originally God should not be such an existence..). Every existences have good and evil, and also there has sadness in the bottom of the heart. However, sometime the sadness might be become to mercy or hope. Music wander between reality and mythology with abstract, minimal sound, and Japan sensitivities etc… for realizing the true happiness in heart.” – Shin’ichi Isohata